There are many symptoms of mold exposure in toddlers to be aware of if you live in a high humidity place.
In another post, we looked at the signs of mold exposure in babies. This post is more or less the same. If you see any of these, please take care of your baby faster before the symptoms escalate.
Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only. If you, your baby, pet or any family member exhibits signs of black mold exposure, see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you live in a high humidity place such as Florida or Seattle, you are likely to have mold infestation at home.
Mold is a sneaky indoor allergen. It likes to grow in dark, warm and moist spaces. Sometimes, you might not even know you have it, until you start seeing warning signs of mold toxicity among your family.
That’s why it is so vital to know the symptoms of mold exposure in toddlers.
Causes of mold exposure in toddlers
There is only one cause of mold exposure symptoms in babies – mold colonies in your home.
Mold spores spread to different parts of the house by floating on air. Wherever they land, they will form new colonies if there is warmth, dampness and nutrients.
If you have, or have had mold at home, let your doctor know that if you find yourself taking your baby to the hospital too often.
In the baby’s room, keep a hygrometer and check it often. You need to ensure the humidity never exceeds 55 percent.
Also, check the dewpoint temperature. If it is constantly above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the day is going to be really humid.
The high humidity outside affects the inside humidity. You will need to run a dehumidifier for mold.
Your baby can also get mold exposure from the humidifier itself. When you neglect cleaning the unit for too long, mold will grow inside the tank.
If you see pink, brown or black slime in the humidifier tank, it is a sign of mold. The humidifier will pump this mold out with the mist and your family will inhale a lot of it.
Such kind of mold exposure is going to trigger serious mold exposure signs in your baby.
Signs of black mold exposure in toddlers
If you see all or any of the signs we’ll discuss below, know that mold exposure is the first culprit.
Remember, mold grows in dark spaces most of the time, so it is possible to have it and not know you have it.
Does your baby show these symptoms?
1. Itching nose, eyes and throat
If your baby has itchy eyes, they could have been exposed to mold. While a baby is small, they will not reach the eyes, nose or throat with their hands.
You can tell by the baby’s unceasing discomfort. Besides the itching in the nose and eyes, the baby’s nose and eyes will start running.
2. Stuffy nose
If you notice that your toddler is breathing a lot through the mouth, it means their nose is stuffed. Mold exposure can cause this.
Your baby will also show signs of congestion. If they are wheezing or their chest is congested, they are reacting to mold exposure.
3. Relentless coughing and postnasal drip
Mold exposure makes the body to go on overdrive mode in mucus production. Most of the mucus starts to trickle back down the throat. This is called postnasal drip.
With the mucus dripping down the throat, your baby will develop persistent coughing fits. These coughs leave them breathless.
If your baby gags, it could be because of the mucus dripping back down their throat. See your pediatrician as soon as possible.
4. Skin rashes
Mold does not only affect the baby’s respiratory system, but it also affects their skin. If the mold spores land on their delicate skin, they can cause rashes.
If you see red patches on the skin of your baby, you should suspect mold. Small pimples on the exposed parts of the skin are a telltale sign of mold exposure in babies.
Some times, there will be bloody lesions on the skin.
5. Your kid displays restlessness
With problems such as stuffy nose, postnasal drip and skin irritation, your child can be very irritable.
If your baby has fed well, they don’t have colic and they are still being very irritable, mold exposure might be to blame.
If you live in a humid place such as Seattle, you should check your house frequently, especially the crawl spaces for signs of mold.
7. Mold exposure signs in older kids …
In older kids, you should look for all the symptoms we have discussed above. They will also experience:
- Unexplained fatigue and low energy levels
- Cognitive dysfunction issues such as confusion, attention deficit, slurred speech and others
- Problems with their hearing
- Stress and anxiety
- It can trigger attacks in children who have asthma
Can you test a child for mold exposure?
If the doctor recommends testing a baby for mold exposure, go for it. But first, check your house thoroughly to see whether you have mold infestations.
Some mold tests are carried out using urine. The lab will test for mold infestation in the body of your baby using his/her urine.
If you notice any of the symptoms of mold exposure we have shown you here, just know there is mold in your house.
The most likely places for mold colonies are the basement, the kitchen, bathroom and ceiling.
If you are not sure that your baby is suffering from mold exposure symptoms, you can test material from your home for mold.
Another form of mold testing is taking a sample of material from your home and having it tested for mold in a professional lab.
You can also buy your own test kit and test dust from your home for the presence of mold. The most popular home mold test is called Environmental Mold Mycotoxin Assessment (EMMA).
If the tests turn out positive showing your baby has mold in his or her body, don’t panic. Your doctor will have the solution. Follow the treatment plan so that your baby gets well again.
If the home tests show your home has mold, you might want to hire a professional firm for mold removal.
Also, check your appliances such as humidifiers and dehumidifiers, diffusers, toilets and others for mold.
If there is mold in the humidifier tank, it could cause humidifier sickness symptoms.
How can mold affect a toddler? Can it kill?
You can tell black mold from other types of mold by its greenish or blackish color. If your child is exposed to black mold, you should take him to a doctor immediately.
Black mold infestation in children can cause neurological issues. Black mold contains trichothecene mycotoxins. They affect the functionality of your brain by killing neurons.
The symptoms of neurological issues include trembling, memory loss and anxiety. Because they might take time to manifest, it is best to run tests.
If your child develops hemorrhagic pneumonia from exposure to black mold, they could die. This condition is caused by the inflammation of the lungs. Take your baby for diagnosis because many other things could cause this condition.
Today, pneumonia is one of the biggest infant and pre-school children killers. This is why you cannot take chances.
Don’t take chances with the health of your family. If you live in a humid place, invest in the best basement dehumidifier for mold.
It will lower the humidity in your house to the recommended level of 30 to 50-55%. Mold requires relative humidity level of at least 60 percent to thrive.
What happens if toddler is exposed to mold?
When you have mold at home, your family will be exposed to the mold, including your baby.
Many things happen when a toddler is exposed to mold. If they inhale black mold, they will be exposed to mycotoxins.
When absorbed through the skin, ingested through the mouth or inhaled, they can cause serious symptoms.
You will find mycotoxins in damp and warm conditions. You need to check your crawl spaces for mold colonies.
Even if you do not find any signs of black mold in your home, consider doing a mold test on your dust if your baby has been displaying symptoms of mold poisoning.
Please note that mycotoxins are not found in black mold alone. They can also occur in grain if stored poorly, in coffee, in seeds, nuts and other foods.
According to Studies, mycotoxins are more prevalent in developing countries. In the West, they are most likely to occur from black mold.
If your child is exposed to mold mycotoxins from ingesting moldy food, inhaling mold spores or skin contact, he/she will display the symptoms already discussed here.
Can mold cause fever in your child?
Exposure to mold can cause fever in grownups as well as children. But first, what is fever? When fungi, bacteria and viruses invade your body, they thrive when the body maintains its regular temperature.
But the body’s defense mechanism (immune system) raises the body’s core temperature to try and kill these invaders.
When the temperature increases, the body feels hot to the touch. That is how we say you have developed a fever.
So, to the question of: can mold cause fever in a child? The answer is YES. It will. By introducing mycotoxins in the body, the body goes into defensive mode to try to repel these invaders.
Please note that fever should only be temporary. As soon as the bacteria die, the body restores to its regular temperature. If the fever is persistent too long, see a doctor.
Can mold cause speech problems
People with babies ask: Can mold cause speech problems?
Exposure to black mold can have serious and less serious implications. It can cause neurological issues, affecting the nervous system.
Black mold exposure in kids can also cause brain impairment. The baby will not achieve certain milestones in the right time.
Their IQ remains low and their cognitive function does not develop as expected. Babies exposed to black mold can exhibit slurred speech.
How to test a child for mold exposure
If your child has been exposed to mold, it is best to take them to the doctor for prognosis.
The results returning a positive will be quite a shocker. But at least, you will know what you are dealing with.
After testing positive, your doctor will prescribe a treatment plan to get rid of humidifier lung and other symptoms. It is paramount you stick with this plan to help your child.
Common tests for mold
Not all tests for mold are good for clinical use. Perhaps you might want to get a second opinion before you get one. For instance, many practitioners might not recommend the urine mycotoxin test.
Many things, including the medical history of the patient, affect the test’s reliability. Other things such as dust mites can also cause the same allergy symptoms as mold.
Common tests for mold include pricking the skin, drawing a little blood and sending it to the lab for analysis. If your doctor recommends this, it is okay to do it.
The main problem with urinary mycotoxin tests is that no one knows the level of mycotoxins in the urine is associated with the allergy symptoms discussed here.
The most recommended test for mold is IgE – Immunoglobin E. It is an immunoglobulin test that can show your level of mold sensitivity. It is a popular test for allergy screening in children.
Final thoughts: Symptoms of mold exposure in toddlers
Treat the symptoms of mold exposure in toddlers with the seriousness they deserve. If you ignore them, they could turn into lifelong health conditions and in some cases, death is possible.
If you live in an area such as Dallas, check the humidity level in your indoor spaces. Mold will grow at certain humidity levels.
If you make frequent trips to the hospital, mold exposure could be to blame. If you keep treating the symptoms without removing the main cause, your child will keep getting sick.
You will need to check our post on mold growth humidity chart so you can control the factors that cause mold growth.